We spent last Sunday at one of our favourite events – the Canadian Health Food Association trade show. Open to trade and media only, it’s where producers and retailers have the chance to meet, and more importantly, where new products get pitched. As some of these products are new to the Canadian and Ontario markets, I can’t tell you exactly where to find them just yet, although if readers see something here that interests them, we encourage you to check with your local health food store and ask them to bring in these products if they don’t. Most of these items are made by independent producers and artisans.
After the learning experience of last year’s visit to the Canadian Health Food Association’s Expo East Trade Show, we arrived this year well prepared. We didn’t follow the crowd and bring along an empty suitcase to carry home samples and info sheets, but we did show up at this massive health food trade show with empty backpacks and comfortable shoes.
We arrived at the Canadian Health Food Association’s Expo East shortly after 9am with the assumption that we’d breeze through the trade show in a couple of hours. Even when we hit the floor and realized just how many exhibitors there were, we were still optimistic. Four hours later, we stumbled from the Toronto Convention Centre, laden down with bags of brochures, samples and assorted giveaway items. We had wondered why so many people were showing up with empty rolling suitcases – it was to carry home their swag. And we only looked at the food – fully a third of the exhibitors were there promoting either various forms of protein powders and energy bars or other health food items such as cosmetics.